Pork chops with mushroom orzo pasta and smashed peas. But, when I went to add it up, I went over:
- meat $6.32 (I bought an entire loin at Costco for $18.47 and divided into three portions).
- mushrooms $1.75
- orzo pasta $1.49
- peas (half a bag of frozen store-brand baby peas) $.69
- onions (sweet walla walla are my downfall) $1.63
- 3 teaspoons of chicken base $.47
- 4 tablespoons of butter $.40
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil (for frying pork chops) $.40
- flour (for dusting pork chops) $.05
- sliced tomato $0 (from my garden)
Next I thought instead of making the orzo, I'd just make some plain pasta with jarred sauce and I'd add some panko crumbs to the pork chops to jazz them up a bit, like so:
And this seemed to work:
- meat $6.32
- organic Coscto pasta $.99
- 1/2 jar of Fransisco Renaldi $.75
- peas $.69
- oil $.50
- Panko crumbs $.50
- 1 egg $.16
And this would've worked had I not decided that I just didn't WANT plain old peas for dinner, especially not when I had $3.73 worth of fresh baby asparagus in the fridge. Then I used way more than a cup of panko bread crumbs and an extra egg and then we put Parmesan cheese on the pasta as well. The total cost ended up being more like $14.37.
But it was yummy!
Tonight I'll make my FINAL attempt!
- Broiled chicken thighs $4.87
- Yukon gold mashed potatoes $3
- Butter $.60
- Heavy cream $.50
- Fresh green beans $1
- 1 teaspoons chicken base $.16
I'll let you know how it goes after I cook tonight, but it's definitely been eye opening. When Stefania asked me to participate, I told her I though MOST of our dinners cost under $10, but I was obviously wrong. I think it's a two-fold problem: meat and vegetables. The piece of pork loin I cooked last night was over 2 pounds. We eat A LOT of food at every dinner. The kids and I shared ONE of the pork chops pictured above, but Dave? ate THREE. I used the three leftover pieces for two lunches for him.
Fresh veggies cost SO MUCH more than frozen. I went to Fred Meyer yesterday and spent $9.42 on POTATOES. Sure, I bought over nine pounds of Yukon Gold deliciousness, but that's only going to stretch into 3 meals for us. (Tonight as a side dish and then a double recipe of Shepherd's Pie; I always cook an extra one for the freezer). I spent over $3.00 on green beans (again for three meals), but frozen? It would've been half that cost for even more beans. I can also almost NEVER find asparagus for less than $3.99 a pound and it was on sale for $2.69, so I bought one bunch for $3.73. It adds up!
How much do you spend on the average dinner for four? I really had never thought about it before Stefania's challenge!